Liverpool winger Philippe Coutinho is not yet a truly world class player, club legend Robbie Fowler has claimed.
The Brazilian was the subject of three bids from Barcelona in the summer transfer window, the highest of which was thought to be in the region of £114m, though Coutinho failed to get the move to the Camp Nou he reportedly desired.
Fowler believes that Coutinho must perform more consistently in big games if he is to be considered one of the best footballers on the planet. The Liverpool Echo reported on Fowler's comments about Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Saturday, where Coutinho provided the assist for Mohammed Salah's opener, with the former striker saying: “If I have a slight disappointment, it is that Liverpool didn’t make the most of their attacking situations, and that’s probably because Philippe Coutinho had an off-day."
The former England international compared Coutinho to his opposite number from that clash with Chelsea, Eden Hazard, claiming: “You’d love to see him have the consistency that Eden Hazard is showing.
"Yet it can be tough for players who maintain that level – remember that Hazard had a long spell a couple of seasons ago when he stopped playing at an acceptable level.
“If Coutinho is going to be considered truly world class – at the level of Neymar and Lionel Messi - then he will have to offer a bit more in games like this."
After missing the first month of the season with a back injury, Coutinho has gone on to score five goals in eleven games in all competitions this season.